PSA Marine sets up a smart hydroponics farm at its’ West Coast Base office rooftop as part of PSA Marine Sustainability Movement. Through this initiative, PSA Marine aims to increase employees’ awareness about food security, promote food sustainability by supporting local food production, and encourage community cohesiveness by building a space for healthy community bonding among employees.
Named as Gerické (Ge-ri-kay), the rooftop farm is a tribute to Dr. William Frederick Gericke, the “father of hydroponics”. Vegetables are grown and harvested through a modern hydroponics system incorporated with smart technologies. Without the need of soil, fertilizers and pest control, the plants are cultivated solely by using mineral nutrient solutions in an aqueous solvent. The installed system works by allowing minute control over environmental conditions including temperature and pH balance, which in turn maximises the vegetables’ exposure to nutrients and water, providing them the optimum growing condition. As water is captured and reused, 90% lesser water is used as compared to land farming, which effectively helps to reduce resource consumption.
The unique feature that sets Gerické apart from conventional hydroponic farms is the use of new technologies. Through IoT, smart sensors and closed-circuit cameras, PSA Marine developed a mobile app which provides real time info of the vegetables’ growth rate and tracks the different resources used such as water, sunlight and nutrients. Hence, enabling the employees to better determine the dates for harvest as well as adjusting the resources for more bountiful harvest.
Plans are underway to expand Gerické into a full-fledge sheltered hydroponics rooftop farm. Solar panels will also be progressively installed to power the farm, creating a green farming ecosystem.
Watch this video to find out how our office rooftop has evolved into today’s Gerické.